The Shepherd King
Hours later, aware that I was not alone, - I saw it, - but I wasn't sure if it saw me. The moon was full and cast deep shadows that were in stark contrast to to the bright light surrounding them. Into my line of vision came a creature like a wolf, that was jet black and shaggy with tangled fur and red eyes, as tall as a large pony. Upon its back sat a creature – I don't know what. It's teeth were long and sharp. It had a stench that reached my nostrils almost before I saw it.
Then in an instant I knew that it was aware of me. With eyes narrowing to slits, it threw back it's head and screamed a blood curdling warning to its companions who couldn't have been far behind it. Its steed was pulling at the reins, eager to pounce and the creature pulled out a sword and pointed it in my direction. I could hear the galloping monsters behind it nearing my line of vision. The first one began speaking evil words that though I did not understand them, made chills run up and down my spine. The words had harsh sounds and the voice that delivered them seemed to come from the depths of its cold heart.
I waited until it seemed the last one had rounded the bend, and I could wait no longer...... I called to the scorpions, commanding them to attack and kill these evil beings. They appeared to glide out from under the rocks in endless waves, covering all, stinging until there was no life left in those frightful bodies.
I was nearing Parkinson's Disease and the closer I got to it, the worse my wounds became. The town itself was set in a valley where bare rock could be seen, and shallow depressions of dirt were scattered at random as far as one could see. Only the spindly weeds were able to scratch out a life and draw some form of nourishment from the otherwise barren place.
An old woman approached me, with head down and bent over. Her voice was weak, so I had to strain to listen to what she said.
“You must be the new person. We have been expecting you.” Pointing to a dilapidated old shack (not unlike the other houses in the vicinity)she began shuffling towards it. This is where you will stay.” There was no mention of a departure time, and my heart sank as I drew nearer to it. I couldn't help but think of the differences between this scrappy lean-to and the wonderful safe houses where help had come to me in the past.
“Your assignment is to pray. All distractions have been taken away from you so that you can devote all of your time to prayer.”
“What will I pray about?” I asked.
“You will pray for our people (others who also pray) and you will pray them through hard places and to be protected from the dark ones. The Shepherd King will tell you as you go........”.
She turned and made her way to a large house where others were also going. She motioned for me to follow. When I entered this house, I saw that they were praying with one accord – one mind – one heart. I joined in with them, and so the days went. I also prayed much by myself. At last the day came when I could not even carry my backpack or walk without assistance. I cried out to the Shepherd King unceasingly. I wanted Him to heal me, and I knew that He could......... But I had never seen a person healed, so there was much turmoil within me. My heart was so sad......... I no longer knew
the joy of movement. I felt I was nearing death. I had served my time in the forces of the Shepherd King. On the last stretch of this journey, I wept tears of sadness, of loss of hope..........
One day during my quiet time of prayer, suddenly I heard a man's voice – a wonderful voice. Full of compassion and care, He lifted me in His arms. He was so strong. Together – in His strength – we crossed the threshold of the door leading outside, and He found a tree where He could prop me up. He knelt down before me, and swept my hair back from my face. He looked deeply into my eyes. There was wisdom and love on His face and even in His hands. Who WAS this man?
“Do you know who I am?” He asked. I confessed that I did not, though He seemed strangely familiar – as if I had known Him a long time. I am He who protected you from the fiery arrows in enemy attacks . I am the Healer of your wounds, and I carried you when you could not walk. I rescued you from the tangle of thorns. I am He of many names and I have billions of Messengers – some of whom have I sent to your aid. I am the Defeater of Demons, and the Scorpions and Snakes obey me. I am the author of the Book of Life and I have helped you to understand the wisdom contained within its pages. I sent my servants to share their food with you. I am the One with authority over giants and the one who shielded you from their attack. I am the lowly Shepherd King
who rules. I am also the Giver of Gifts, and I have one for you.
It is many moons since then. But I remember it very well. It was not the kind of gift you can put in a box and wrap. It wasn't exactly the kind of gift that could be seen – at least not directly. There were no bright colors with shine-y paper foils, and no bows. It was spectacular all the same. It was wondrous yet has been passed over by men who could not see it's worth – men who did not dream – whose thoughts went no further than their eyes could see. Hidden treasure it was – pure gold – so pure – transparent like a bottomless crystal...... It was all new to me– never before imagined, yet it is older than the stars. Fluid - like sparkling water – definable yet eternal. It was not to be found in the window of a store or on someone's wish list. No one had ever dreamed how huge this tiny gift would be – how it would bring healing and guidance; how it would open eyes and ears.
Older than the stars, but new to me, He gave me a Word...........a new Word, that only I know). He has called me into a place of partial healing for now; and one day it will be complete. I wait with a holy anticipation. The Shepherd King has given me His Word that these things are true.
My Shepherd King has been here with me all the time . And, lo He always will be there.